What does the POLITICO Article Say about the Counteroffensive of Ukraine and the Reaction of the Biden Administration?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Since April 30, 2023, Georgian writer Merab Ratishvili and several Georgian– and Russian-language (1,2,3) Facebook accounts, including former Ukrainian diplomat Andriy Telizhenko, have been disseminating the information that, according to Politico, US President Joe Biden is pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to either start the planned spring counteroffensive immediately or agree on the terms of capitulation with Russia. The posts also indicate that the Biden team fears the consequences of a failed counterattack in Ukraine and is preparing for the effect that if the counterattack fails, critics at home and foreign allies will begin to argue that America has failed. The majority of Facebook accounts name the American anchor Clayton Morris as the source of information. An excerpt from one of Morris’ YouTube videos is attached to some of the posts.

ra tseria Politico s statiashi ukrainis kontrshetevasa da baidenis administratsiis reaqtsiaze What does the POLITICO Article Say about the Counteroffensive of Ukraine and the Reaction of the Biden Administration?

The disseminated information about the article by Politico is partly false. The article mentions that the Biden administration is preparing for the consequences of the insufficient success or failure of the counteroffensive in Ukraine. However, the claim that Biden is urging Zelensky to launch a counteroffensive now or to declare capitulation is not found in the article. Clayton Morris interprets the content of the Politico article correctly, and the part where he talks about pressure from the Biden administration is simply his assessment.

The video, which was shared by the above-mentioned Facebook accounts, was cut from the April 29 broadcast of Redacted. Redacted combines a YouTube channel, podcast, and website of that name, owned by former Fox News anchor and real estate investor Clayton Morris.

In the April 29 program, Clayton Morris discussed various political topics with his wife, Natali Morris. Among them, the speakers talked about the change in the course of US foreign policy, noting that the centre of US attention is shifting from Ukraine to China.

At the 18th minute of the video, Clayton Morris begins discussing the Politico article and reads an excerpt from it. According to the excerpt, Biden’s team fears the consequences of a failed counteroffensive in Ukraine and is preparing for the possibility that a counteroffensive in the spring may fail, prompting critics at home and allies abroad to argue that the US has failed.

The mentioned article was published on April 24. Discussions about the possible scenarios for the development of Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive are indeed found in it. The main focus of the article is on the effect that the counterattack, in case of failure, will have on the political processes in the US. More specifically, the article notes that if the counteroffensive is not sufficiently successful, the administration fears that it will come under criticism from several directions. In addition, the start of negotiations with Russia may turn out to be a desirable scenario for European allies.

As for the claim that the Biden administration is using any coercion in its relations with the Ukrainian authorities or that the timing of the start of the counteroffensive in Ukraine has any special significance for the administration, these are Morris’s own opinions, and the host does not claim that they are found in the Politico article. Unlike him, in the posts on Facebook, the mentioned article is named as the source of both parts of Clayton Morris’ reasoning.

About the Sources

Facebook user Malkhaz Khabazi and writer Merab Ratishvili regularly amplify false information of anti-Western content. The fake news disseminated by the users has been debunked by “Myth Detector” a number of times in the past (1,2).

As for Andriy Telizhenko, he held the positions of adviser to the member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and third secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America at different times. In 2019, the US State Department suspended Telezhenko’s US visa for spreading conspiracy theories about Joe Biden and his family members.

In 2020, Telezhenko, as a person linked to the pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Andrii Derchak, recognized as a Russian agent, was included in the list of sanctioned persons by the US Department of the Treasury. Telezhenko, together with several other Ukrainian officials, participated in a campaign against a specific candidate before the 2020 US presidential elections, within the framework of which false information about the corrupt deals of this candidate and his entourage was spread on social networks and media.

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Politics
Violation: Partly false
Country: Russia, Ukraine, USA

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